Free dental care provided for Veterans in need

Medford, Ore — The ‘Mouth Mobile’ was in Medford Friday, providing veterans dental care to veterans in need.

Th Mouth Mobile is no normal dentist’s office and the patients are extra special.

“We’re bringing the clinic straight to the veterans, we’re providing free care and we’re trying to take care of as many people as we can today,” said Paul Lamoreau with Aspen Dental.

Aspen Dental, along with the Columbiacare Veterans Resource Center, free provided dental work for dozens of veterans, like Gary Denzer.

“I just like to have this service available so when my teeth need cleaning, they’ll do it free of charge,” said Denzer.

Denzer served in Korea and Vietnam. He was wounded twice, and rose to the rank of major. Now he struggles to afford the basic dental care he needs.

“It’s extremely important because I don’t have very much money, I pay $2,300 a month where I live, it takes just about everything I make to pay the bills,” said Denzer.

“Veterans don’t automatically get dental care coverage through the VA, they get medical, and really your dental is tied to your medical, but unfortunately the coverage isn’t there, they only get dental if they were wounded in the mouth during war time, or they’re fully disabled,” said Lamoreau.

It’s even worse for veterans living on the streets.

“It breaks my heart, we’re all a big family, some of them didn’t make the right moves when they were younger and they’re suffering for it now,” said Denzer.

That’s where local dentists and the well traveled Mouth Mobile come in.

“A lot of the issues are unfortunately their pain, they’ve been dealing with the pain for weeks sometimes months or longer and they’re coming in saying this tooth is really hurting them, we’re taking x-rays, diagnosing them, just trying to get them out of that pain,” said Lamoreau.

All of it covered at no charge.

“The veteran population, they’ve sacrificed so much for us, it’s a very important population for us, we know there’s need there so we want to come out and help,” said Lamoreau.

Every year, the Aspen Dental Mouth Mobile travels to dozens of cities throughout the country providing dental care with help from local doctors.

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Matt Jordan is the Chief Meteorologist for KOBI-TV NBC5. Matt joined the NBC5 weather team in 2014 after a year as a reporter and anchor in Alexandria, Louisiana. His experience with the severe weather of the Deep South and a love of the Pacific Northwest led him to pursue a certification with Mississippi State University as a Broadcast Meteorologist. You can find Matt working in the evenings of NBC5 News at 5, 6 and 11 as well as online. Matt also has a degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon. In addition to being passionate about news and weather, Matt is a BIG Oregon Ducks fan. When not rooting for the Ducks or tracking down the next storm over the Pacific, Matt can be found outdoors in the Oregon wilderness with his wife, his daughter and their dogs Stanley and Gordi.
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